WASHINGTON (AP) – Pete Butigig, who has been Secretary of Transportation for several weeks, was buried in meetings preparing for the launch of President Biden’s $ 2.3 trillion public works program when the evening came to Washington to try something new.
Instead of climbing onto a bench with a black SUV like most cabinet secretaries, he moved to a bicycle rack. Wearing a helmet, he and several other undercover agents escorted him to his home in Capitol Hill, a few miles away.
It was not a one-time trick. On Thursday, Boutingig arrived at the White House for a meeting of his bicycle cabinet. And it was not the moment of his only “ordinary boy”. Columbia Dog Park devotees have also seen him there talking to anyone, from children to members of Congress such as Alexandria Occasio-Cortes, DN.Y.
Butigig first looked at the work of the man who is now headed by Biden. Butigeg’s presidential campaign was surprisingly successful. He actually won first place with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Iowa state constituencies, finished second in the New Hampshire primary, and left a strong impression as someone representing a democratic future. Party:
Now in his campaign term, a man named “Mayor Pete” – he was the mayor of South Bend, Indiana – in his first job in Washington is facing the first test of that potential. Manages the Cabinet of Ministers with an annual budget of $ 75 billion and a mandate. to help boost an infrastructure project that Biden likened to building an interstate highway system in the 1950s.
He will have to navigate both the bureaucracy rooted in the Department of Transportation and the bitterly fragmented policy of Washington.
He may have found his way simply by riding a bicycle, which gained fans even from skeptics of Congress.
“You have to keep your head up,” Butigig told the Associated Press, explaining the road և the potential dangers posed by unusual drivers, but he said it could be a much faster way from point A to point B.
On Thursday, Biden instructed Buttigieg, four other members of the government, to sell the administration’s infrastructure, climate plan, cash flow to roads, bridges, airports, broadband, water systems, and electric vehicles.
But the plan has already hit the wall with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who opposes raising corporate taxes. Biden says he will pay for the plan and promises to oppose it “at every step.” On the other hand, the leader of the progressive group of the Congress D-Wash, Pramila Ay Ayapal, says that the package should be significantly bigger.
As intimidating as it may seem, the challenge of helping to build consensus fits in with the ambition of a man who had the courage to run for president from a flying pillar of being a mayor of central Indiana. When Biden selected a naval reserve veteran to be transferred, he praised him, offering “a new voice with new ideas that are determined to move beyond old politics.”
In an interview, Butigig said he believed a two-party consensus was possible.
Boeingig is joined by Energy Minister Ennie Granholm, Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, and Trade Minister Inina Raimondo.
“I’ve had enough conversations, especially one-on-one conversations away from the cameras, with members of both sides of the aisle, to know that this is actually of genuine interest,” Butigig told the AP. “Now, of course, politics can stop it. But I think that unlike many other questions, where there is just a deep passionate deep disagreement about what to do, there is a really healthy coincidence in terms of our ideas of what should happen, even if there is a big difference in how to get there. “
Translation Republicans also like smooth roads և high speed internet for their constituents. But so far there is no mention that the Republicans share his position.
The proposal offers great interest to Butigig in the section where he promises to promote public transit, other green alternatives to gas-suppressing vehicles, and use a “equity lens” for infrastructure projects.
“The brown districts have been disproportionately divided by highway designs or isolated due to a lack of adequate transit transport resources,” Butigig tweeted in December. During Biden և Vice President Kamala Harris, he said: “We will make the correction of those mistakes imperative.”
Just two months after taking office, Boutingig met with տասն 13 senators from two dozen members of the House, and in recent days has stepped up that pace, talking daily with lawmakers on both sides.
Republicans describe the former McKinsey adviser as pleasantly open-minded, even though they sometimes wonder about the extent of his influence in legislation.
Illinois State Representative Rodney Dies, chief Republican on the Highway Control Commission, said he had spoken to Buttigig twice, and once during a meeting with Biden’s two-party White House legislature. He called the talks “really good.”
“I’m so excited to be able to work with him,” said Davis, a cyclist returning home from his rural neighborhood who believes the former mayor can bring valuable street-level prospects to fill potholes and ease congested streets.
“If he wants to go for a walk to discuss cycling and public transport, I welcome that,” he said.
Although the youngest member of the Cabinet at the age of 39, Butgieg has a stellar power that makes the group equal to the few. He demonstrated the ability of the media to attract the attention of the media and use those moments, including during Fox News’ memorable election hits, to stir the public, including those who may not always be able to vote Democrat.
He spoke at the famous SXSW conference in Texas, joining Gov. Ralph Northham, D-Va, to promote the expanded railroad և tweets to a wider community close to competing with Donald Trump when he was president. Boutingig promotes transit policy on both her official and personal accounts, where she also expresses her devotion to her husband, Chasten.
Butigeg, the owner of the two dogs, was even seen in the park next to Ocasio-Cortez. He said it was a chance meeting.
The new Secretary of Transport recently had a slip. He had to quickly withdraw a plan to pay the drivers for the miles they had driven. This is a proposal that has some support among Republicans, but may break Biden’s campaign promise not to raise taxes on people earning less than $ 400,000.
Boutingig impressed West Wing assistants with his work ethic, willingness to learn, and he quickly established himself to pursue strong engagement with LMs.
The president’s advisers are warming to the former mayor over a decision he made last spring to quickly approve Biden after leaving his own campaign to help speed up the Democratic primary. And Biden compared Butigig to his late son Boy, a powerful exhortation that helped strengthen his power as president.
Now, in connection with Biden’s agenda Բ performance, Butigig is embarking on a phase that is likely to increase his public service portfolio և life experience.
This stage accomplishes what some allies said Butigeg needed, the next chapter beyond the undisguised story of a boy in a small, mid-western town. Friends and advisers have long suggested he leave South Bend to see more of the world than his seven-month deployment to Afghanistan in 2014 allowed.
Butigig was busy running for president when he got married in June 2018, when his father died six months later. During the campaign, he said that he and Chasten hope to become parents.
Responding to the desire to become a father, Butigig told the AP: “We are still working in that direction,” he added with a smile. “Stay tuned.”
As soon as he ascended, Butigig quickly stopped his campaign in March 2020, before it was clear that Biden would rise to the top. He knew when to go out. He will probably know when to go back there too if he does.
“He has incredible political talent and skill,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Well, Ohio, a longtime friend and supporter of the 2020 campaign. “But part of that talent մտ skill is having a really great political schedule.”
On that front, he sees his work on infrastructure not as “part of this big plan for his next step” but as a demonstration of his ability to focus on the task at hand.
Butigeg and her husband were spotted in their new neighborhood, Capitol Hill, where they live in a one-room apartment, wandering around the artisanal stalls of the Archelian Market with the smiles of the residents. Over the weekend, they wandered along brick houses, along with blossoming magnolia cherry blossom trees, waving to their neighbors, allowing small children to pet their dogs. Their one-eyed nickname “Milik”, adopted at the end of 2018, has become an Instagram star.
The duck stopped for a long time as the blond little girl ran and sat down to disturb her, while the other lab mix, Truman, was standing nearby.
“She loves attention,” Chasten Butigig explained to the girl, who was a feature chosen by Badi during the campaign.
Pete Butigig smiled as the girl scratched the dog on the dog’s head, and the couple slowly made their way back to the Capitol.
Beaumont reported from Des Moines, Iowa. Associated Press writers Colin Long և Calvin Woodward contributed to this report.